National law firm Shoosmiths has topped Experian MarketIQ (Corpfin) 2016 UK & Ireland M&A league tables to become the UK's leading legal adviser by deal volume.
Clinching the top national spot, in 2016 the firm acted on 183 disclosable deals in total, ahead of Gateley (177 deals), DLA Piper (142) and Irwin Mitchell (119).
Shoosmiths also took first place in London and in the South East ranking respectively. The firm leapt from 16th to 4th in Scotland and held on to last year's positions in the East of England (3rd), the Midlands (3rd) and North West (7th), demonstrating its regional presence and national footprint.
Experian MarketIQ reported that the level of merger and acquisition activity in the UK held up well in 2016 despite a turbulent year, with unanticipated scenarios on the world stage such as the election of Donald Trump and the UK's vote to leave the European Union.
Shoosmiths' head of corporate, Chris Garnett, said: 'Being crowned number one in this prestigious league table is a superb achievement. Such industry recognition is only made possible by the hard work our lawyers and support teams do every day for our clients.
'This recognition is the icing on the cake after another stellar year for our corporate team, which has again seen us post double-digit growth and build our offering across our existing locations while expanding in the North with the launch of our new Leeds office.
'2016 has been a momentous year in a number of ways but the unexpected Brexit vote and surprising outcome of the US presidential election do not appear to have had any negative impact on mid-market M&A activity in the UK in the short term. In the busiest year for deal volume since 2007 we are delighted to have increased our number of reported deals by 24% which is a clear indication that we have continued to grow our market share very successfully across the M&A, venture capital and private equity space.'
Deals submitted by Shoosmiths included the following:
- advising the private equity arm of Lloyds Bank, LDC, on the sale of Property Software Holdings Limited to Zoopla
- advising international hotelier Leonardo Hotels Europe on the acquisition of Morrison Street Hotel Limited and its Edinburgh city centre hotel.
- advising venture capital firm Octopus Ventures on the sale of artificial intelligence platform Swiftkey to Microsoft
- advising the shareholders on the sale of outdoor clothing retailer Rohan Group
Shoosmiths' corporate team advises public and private companies, management teams, investors and debt providers through the business life cycle. Shoosmiths works with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions, development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment.